Sassafras: Shari, tell us about the beginning of your line La Macón. Shari: La Macón began as my label upon graduating from Seattle Central College's Apparel Design program. It's a line that was inspired by those old Cha Cha Cha records from the 50's and 60's. It's fitting that after graduating, I worked in the costume world in Seattle for 7-8 years. I then apprenticed with a leather accessories designer who I met through theater and it just felt natural for me to work in this medium. I decided to design and sew a line of vintage-inspired leather handbags and do various trunk shows, but now that I have a real, fantastic studio at Sassafras, I've been inspired to expand my label and design leather garments!
Sassafras: How would you describe your line?
Shari: Tough, but sweet. Mod, but a bit rocker!
Sassafras: We notice a love of leather in your line. Do you like to use other materials (other than denim)?
Shari: Yes, absolutely! I love finishing my garments (and handbags) with nice quality suit linings that are in stripes, polka dots, or plaid. And if it's vintage, even better! I also love to subtly embellish my garments using rivets and studs. I enjoy the hand work and it helps make a piece feel that much more special.
Sassafras: We're curious about how you picked the French name for your line.
Shari: "Macón" is an acronym for my grandmother's name: Maria Alicia Cortes Otero Noble. She actually had a small record label called Macón. She always said that Macón was going to be famous someday, so I added the "La" to make it my own. To my surprise, it turns out Macón is also the name of a wine region in France, so I will never give it up!
Sassafras: What people or places inspired you most and influence your clothing and handbag designs?
Shari: Well, I would have to say my grandmother, who actually modeled some in the 50's for Miss Clairol, dyed her hair red, and had a fabulous walk-in closet filled with goodies from all over! But I've also been inspired most by listening to and going to tons of punk rock shows most of my life. I'm especially inspired by the female icons of the genre: Debbie, Alice, and Ivy.
Sassafras: What's your favorite era for fashion? Do you see that influence in your designs?
Shari: My favorite era is mid-century and even some early 70's! Yes, you will see this influence in the silhouette, simplicity of the shapes and I try to use construction techniques of the era but with the present in mind.
Sassafras: Who is your customer? What's she doing and where is she going?
Shari: She's definitely a city girl who may be going to a high-end restaurant for steak and red wine before a dirty punk rock show.
Sassafras: If you had to name your favorite item in your new collection, what would it be and why?
Shari: I'm thrilled to be producing my Leather Cat Jacket with a removable hood. And what's really exciting is to be adding denim options to my garment line.
Sassafras: What do you see on the horizon for La Macón?
Shari: I would love to produce a more extensive line with more pieces for dudes. I would love to be a part of some cool fashion shows in Seattle, and of course I would love a new sexy website. That would be lovely.
Sassafras: Thanks, Shari! We look forward to hosting your Fashion Launch Party October 25th and 26th at Sassafras!